top of page

Mikhail Red

After breaking through the film scene in the Philippines, award-winning filmmaker Mikhail Red has taken his skills and penchant for storytelling to an international audience. Having worked on projects with Star Cinema, Netflix and an upcoming series with HBO, Mikhail Red’s impressive and growing resume is just getting started. We caught up with Mikhail and asked him a few questions about his craft, influences, dream projects, and what to look out from him in 2020.

Tell us your story, how and when did it start?

I grew up watching lots of movies because my dad who is also a filmmaker would bring home different laser discs and VHS tapes. I was a writer at first but then naturally transitioned to visual storytelling when I was a teenager. At 15 I made my first short film "The Threshold" and got into an international film festival in Germany. I was inspired to continue making films, using cash prizes in Cinemalaya and Cinemanila to bankroll my projects. At 20 I submitted a feature length screenplay to Cinemalaya and got in. The title of my first feature was Rekorder, it was about film piracy but had mystery thriller elements to it. After that I went on to do international co-productions with films like Birdshot and Eerie, working with Netflix and eventually HBO. I also delved into genre film making with local studios like Star Cinema. I feel very fortunate that I was able to turn my calling into a sustainable career, I now make films full-time.

What did you want to be before you entered film making?

I wanted to be a writer, a novelist. I was also the editor-in-chief for the school paper and I was also sent to competitive essay writing contests by my school. I was always a storyteller at heart.

What is the best piece of advice you got from your father, Raymond Red?

You can make a good film without ever shouting at anyone on set. We're both pretty meek, introverted individuals, but we are able to articulate our vision and delegate tasks without being a dictator.